Work with farmers in Wensleydale to demonstrate the benefit of ‘high nature value’, low-input farm systems through a 5-year trial of a ‘payment by results’ approach to agri-environment funding.
How the local partners are doing on this objective
Progress: The National Park Authority and Natural England completed the final year of the 5-year national trial in Wensleydale in 2021. The project worked with 18 farms to demonstrate how a ‘payment by results’ approach could improve outcomes for species-rich haymeadows and breeding wading birds, like Curlew. A final report was produced for Defra to help inform the development of the new national Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes.
Press Releases & related articles:
16 August 2021 – Kicking to see what’s alive: wildlife surveys carried out
11 September 2020 – Dales farmers meet Ministers in hay meadow
3 August 2020 – Farmers ‘score’ hay meadows as part of trial scheme
Rationale: There is strong support amongst farmers and conservation groups to develop a new, more collaborative approach that rewards farmers for the environmental outcomes they deliver rather than for following detailed prescriptions. A 2-year, EU-funded, national pilot for this approach in the uplands ran on 19 farms in Wensleydale from 2016-2018. Defra is now funding an extension to that pilot for a further 3 years to provide more robust evidence of environmental benefits and costs. The National Trust is also trialling similar approaches to support some of its tenants in the National Park.
Further information: www.gov.uk; YDNPA – Results Based Agri-environment Payment Scheme
Cost over 5 years: £400,000
Funding shortfall: £200,000
Ecosystem services: Biodiversity; Pollination; A sense of place and inspiration
Baseline: First 2 years of trial completed in December 2018.